Irish Book Awards Bord Gais Energy

Yesterday took place the 12th Irish Book Awards event promoting Irish Writers.

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The names of the shortlisted and awarded authors can be found on their website.

http://www.irishbookawards.irish

 

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Blowing in the wind

 

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The Blow-In by Susanne O’Leary book was available to download for free from Kobo, so I gave it a go. It was an easy and dynamic read. The writing wasn’t bad. The plot was interesting enough. A young burnt out successful journalist leaves Dublin in search for a quieter and calmer way of life. Instead of chasing scandals involving corrupt politicians in the capital city, she takes a position as a newspaper editor in  a small town and promises not to stir trouble. She settles in a cosy little cottage and even acquires a puppy.

The descriptions of the quarks of life in the little towns of Ireland (like never using the front door by the locals but the back entrance instead) add a bit of charm to the book. The protagonist soon learns that the paper is in trouble and in need of refurbishment. She agrees to do her best to make it more successful.

The book touches an important subject of bullying and racial hatred. Finola wants to know why her predecessor left his position at the newspaper. She suspects something must have happened to make him give it up, pack his bags and leave. People in the village are very evasive about the subject and won’t answer her questions. She is warned to stay away and called a “blow-in”.

There was quite a big chunk of romance in the book that I found rather cheesy. A Hollywood film crew arrives to the small town to make a movie, a romance happening during the 1916 Easter Rising. The unexpected arrival gives the small local newspaper the desired bust in sale. The male star called Colin Foley falls deeply and truly in love with Finola.

Overall, I will give the book 3 1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px rabbits, hairs or dogs as it was an OK read, but not quite for me. There is a second part but I don’t think I will be reaching for it.

 

Rabbits, hairs or dogs rating.

1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px – one of the best books I read

1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px – charmed

1360612009-300px1360612009-300px1360612009-300px – good read

1360612009-300px1360612009-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1360612009-300px – don’t waste your time

The World came crushing down

 

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In And Then It Happened by Linda Green, a married couple who have known each other since they were kinds was about to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. When things go smoothly and everything seems to fall right in its place, do you ever fear that there might be something lurking around the corner ready to destroy your happiness? Mel is grateful for her loving husband and a beautiful daughter. She doesn’t want to tempt the faith by showing it off, by celebrating their happiness at a big party that her husband is determined to throw. She takes her umbrella on a sunny clear day, just in case. Adam finds her caution endearing but there is something she hasn’t told him about. Mel carries a dark secret, one that make cause her happiness to crumble. She did something terrible and is afraid that what she has, might be taken away from her as a punishment.

While Adam plans a surprise party as a way of thanking his wife for all the happy years they have had together, the faith has something else in store for them. A day before their big do, a freak accident changes their lives forever.

A skull of a tyrannosaurus rex with a nick name Monty placed at the museum where Adam works, lands on Adams head and knocks him unconscious. He is transported into a hospital and reminds in coma for quite some time. His wife spends her evenings researching the Internet in order to learn as much as she can about his condition. (The same the author herself most likely did, as it seems she has done a great deal of research).

Mel is wishing for her husband to get better, to open his eyes. When he finally does however, things are not looking as great as she have hoped for. The doctors declare that he his in a vegetative and not making any more progress, and that there is nothing more they can do for him. They recommend a nursing home care. Mel is devastated but refuses to believe that her husband will not be returning to her. We as readers see that her believe that Adam is still somewhere inside the still body is not without grounds. We get to see his perspective which makes the story even more compelling. Adam adds a kind of a black humour to the book, creates a running commentary to the things that are happening around him. While people visit him and spend hours at his bed side unaware of his consciousness, he serves as a confessional and hears their secrets, deepest thoughts, dreams and feelings. He learns his wife’s secret.

If you would like to find out if Mel ever gets her husband back, I encourage you to read the book, it is a fast page turner. Overall a good read, so 3 1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px dinosaurs, butterflies or bed time stories.

Dinosaurs, butterflies or bed time stories rating

1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px – one of the best books I read

1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px – charmed

1479728769-300px1479728769-300px1479728769-300px – good read

1479728769-300px1479728769-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1479728769-300px– don’t waste your time

Squeal

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If you enjoyed The Dead Summer by Helen Moorhouse, you may also like its sequel The Dark Water. Martha and Will are together. The book opens on a Halloween night and Will is off to an old and recently renovated house in Edinburgh desperately trying to record and proof the existence of paranormal activities. It is hard evidence he is after, sieving through and rejecting the ones that are merely blurred shadows, reflections that trick the eye and make people believe that what they see are spirits. Will and Gabriel aren’t in the best of terms since Gabriel decided to star in a psychic medium in a ghost hunting TV show Ghosts R Us, a program that according to Will, has compromised his reputation. Martha is saddened that the two best friends refuse to speak to each other.

On the same Halloween night Gabriel is alone in his apartment and terrified. Spirits that would usually seek his attention at this time of the year are not present. The absence of one in particular worries him, his spiritual guide and his brother Laurence. Nevertheless he knows that he is not alone. He didn’t hear anybody but someone was leaving their fingerprints around his dusty apartment, moving stuff and leaving handwritten notes with the same message “Do it.”

Paraller to their story, another one happening in the ’60 is described and it shows a young girl who has finally found the courage to leave her violent and abusive partner. Claire finds a refuge and a job in the Turnbull family house. She feels safe and happy there. The only disturbance is the presence of Mr Ball aka Uncle Jack, who spends the summers in the house and whose personality she fears, it reminds her of the life she gladly left behind.

Gabriel receives an invitation to Dubghlas Castle where he used to spend his summer holidays when he was a kid. The letter he received is from an old butler that works for his godfather, asking him to come and help with a problem they are experiencing, one of a supernatural nature. He is worried that he may not be able to help as he seems to have lost his gift. He pleads Martha to convince Will to take his equipment and accompany him.

Martha’s ex-husband suddenly contacts her demanding regular contact with Ruby. She doesn’t welcome this new development and is dreading having to tell Will, who loves the girl like his own daughter.

Eventually the whole group with little Ruby in tow, takes the journey up north to the Highlands, to the Castle. Big old scary house. Secrets, people don’t want to spill. Interesting plot. A page turner. A good read. You may want to sleep with the night light on. 😉 3 hand printsPalmprint-by-Rones-300px Palmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300px, pumpkins or leaves

Hand prints, pumpkins or leaves rating

Palmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300px – one of the best books I read

Palmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300px – charmed

Palmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300px – good read

Palmprint-by-Rones-300pxPalmprint-by-Rones-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Palmprint-by-Rones-300px – don’t waste your time